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Advantages of Teamwork Versus Individual Work: Synergy

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Work teams play an important role in a modern organization. From software engineers who collaborate to write code to the board of directors who gather to make strategic decisions, teams are increasingly being used worldwide as the foundation of work. We know from our everyday experiences, however, that effective teamwork is not achieved as easily as getting a collection of individuals together. There are important things that the group has to accomplish in order to prove effective. First of all, individuals have to group around a common task or goal that they are trying achieve. Once this is satisfied and group members are aware and agree on the common goal/task, there should be further effort put in to develop and nurture the group as it evolves. This effort should assert that there is an integration of values, goals, attitudes and actions among the members of the team. Because of this major effort required, individuals will be willing to participate enthusiastically only if they understand the benefits for themselves, their team and their organizations. Before getting into the details of teambuilding it makes sense to demonstrate why teams can be more effective than individuals in today's organizations.

Groups will probably outperform individuals when certain conditions exist (Forsyth 63). For example, groups as a whole tend to be superior to individuals within the group when the task requires a wide range of information and a variety of skills. One study found that groups scored significantly higher than their highest scoring members (Stasson and Bradshaw 301). When the highest scoring member did not know the answer to a specific question, another member typically did. Thus, the group as a whole benefits from the non-overla...

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...oup to coordinate efforts and to work at optimum effectiveness (Michealson 835).

Works Cited

Fandt, Patricia. "The Relationship of accountability and interdependent behavior to enhancing team consequences.." Group and Organization Studies 16 (1991): 300-312.

Michaelson, Larry "A realistic test of individual versus group consensus decision making." Journal of Applied Psychology 74 (1989): 834-839.

Salazar, Abran. "Understanding the synergistic effects of communication in small groups." Small Group Research 26 (1995): 169-199.

Stasson, Mark, and Scott Bradshaw. "Explanations of individual-group performance differences: What sort of "bonus" can be gained through group interaction?" Small Group Research 26 (1995): 296-308.

Stogdill, Ralph. "Group productivity, drive, and cohesiveness." Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 8 (1972):26-43.

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